Monday, October 8, 2012

Ugandan President Museveni and Aga Khan Inaugurate Bujagali Hydropower

JINJA: Uganda's President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on Monday inaugurated the 250MW Bujagali Hydropower Plant in the presence of the Aga Khan and project partners Sithe Global, a company majority owned by a fund managed by Blackstone on behalf of its investors. The ceremony, which took place on the eve of celebrations marking 50 years of Uganda's independence, was attended by government officials, heads of State from across Africa, international dignitaries and members of the diplomatic community.
The plant, constructed at a cost of approximately US$900 million, was jointly funded by Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Sithe Global Power LLC (USA), a company majority owned by Blackstone Capital Partners IV, L.P., a fund managed by Blackstone on behalf of its investors, and the Government of Uganda.

Bujagali represents one of the largest privately-funded power sector investments ever made in Sub-Saharan Africa and sets a unique precedent for public-private partnerships. The plant will be operated by Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), a company established by the project partners to operate and manage the plant, for a 30 year period, following which it will be transferred to the government of Uganda for a nominal price of US one dollar.

Commenting on the role of the Aga Khan Development Network, His Highness the Aga Khan, said, "But let me emphasize that this has also been a global story. As we try to count up the key participants, we find that they come from at least 37 different countries - a truly international network of partners.

Those of us who represent the Aga Khan Development Network are proud to have been associated with so many fine allies in this work, including our close, central partnership with Sithe Global and Blackstone."

Speaking at the event, David Foley, Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners, said, "Bujagali showcases how successful partnerships between the public and private sectors can create development opportunities for growing economies.

Blackstone is proud to have played an important role, together with our partner the Aga Khan, in the development of Bujagali, the successful completion of which is a credit to the leadership of President Museveni and the commitment of the government of Uganda.

Africa is a resource rich continent and is primed for the development of hydroelectric power generation facilities like Bujagali. On behalf of our investors, Blackstone has committed billions of dollars of equity capital to build energy businesses on four continents around the globe and will continue to invest in emerging market countries to provide them with the affordable, safe and reliable energy to sustain their economic growth."

The Bujagali experience is invaluable and we will certainly draw from it when developing future projects in the region," observed Mr. Nizar Juma, the Chairman of Bujagali Energy Ltd. AFP
  

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